Unanimous Republican support for gay marriage in Rhode Island Senate

Tue. April 23, 2013 3:45 PM by OnTopMag.com

Republican members of the Rhode Island Senate unanimously support a proposed bill legalizing gay marriage in the state.

The 5 GOP lawmakers made their endorsement just hours before the state's Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to hold a vote on the measure.

"Today we join the 209 other Republican state legislators across America who have stood up for the freedom to marry," the state's Senate Republican caucus said in a statement on Tuesday. We are "deeply committed to the values of freedom, liberty and limited government. In accordance with those values, we believe that freedom means freedom for everyone, and that every citizen of Rhode Island deserves the freedom to marry the person they love."

"We support Senate Bill 38 because it rightfully extends the civil aspects of marriage to all Rhode Islanders while protecting the freedom of religion our state was founded upon."

"Gay and lesbian couples deserve to be treated equally under the law, and at the same time churches, synagogues and mosques in our state must be free to exercise their faith and their sacraments as they see fit. We recognize that there is a national consensus building on this generational issue, and we are glad that support for the freedom to marry is growing within the Republican Party," they added.

Tyler Deaton, campaign manager of Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, a group of mostly Republicans who back marriage equality, applauded the move.

"Today's showing of support illustrates the irreversible shift in Republicans' understanding of why marriage matters to same-sex couples and their families," Deaton said in a statement. "Same-sex couples want to marry for the same reasons as anyone else – to take vows in front of their loved ones, to protect their families, and to share in the responsibilities that marriage brings. As the Republican Party continues to evolve, these elected officials' united stance sends a clear message to the rest of the GOP: stand on the side of marriage and the right side of history."

The measure cleared the House in January.

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